Tablets might be the tech world’s successor to the desktop and laptop, but are now facing tough competition from smartphones with large screens dubbed Phablets.
That new competition has caused sales of tablets over the last year to show they are not immune to the smartphone, which has become the leader of the personal computing arena.
IDC the online research firm released a report that showed sales of tablets over the last 12 months have dropped by 5%. Tablet shipments fell to just over 56.3 million units during the first three months of 2014, compared to over 59 million units shipped during the same period one year ago.
IDC still gave the tablet industry a positive outlook for 2014, but lowered its overall projections for the year from 261 million units to just 245.3 million.
The updated forecast shows a growth rate year over year of 12.1%, which is far lower than the growth rate of 2013 that was 51.8%.
Sales of PCs will continue to fall even further as tablets become their natural successor, but the smartphone with the ever increasing size of touchscreens known as the phablet has find great favor among consumers who want to replace two computing devices with one.
One analyst in the industry said that replacing a PC with a smartphone that has a large screen is the expected theme over the next few years, expanding upon a trend that prior to now was limited mainly to China.
Apple, which still owns the largest piece of the current tablet market, experienced a drop of 16.1% in sales of the iPad line.
While the sales of tablets made by Samsung and Apple might have been muted during the last year, Lenovo and Asus did show sizeable increases in sales of tablets during the same period.
Sales of prior tablets were boosted heavily by the 7-inch models that were introduced, but now that section of tablets is likely coming under the most pressure from the new phablets.
Tablets that have screens that are larger will keep replacing desktops and laptops. That is evidenced by Microsoft launching a tablet of 12 inches with a processor that has the power of a strong laptop.
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